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10.12.2003 Regional News

Court acquits former MP

By GNA
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Accra, Dec 10, GNA - The Osu District Magistrate Court on Wednesday acquitted and discharged Joseph Yaani Labik, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Bunkpurugu-Yooyoo in the Northern Region, for allegedly defaulting in paying taxes totalling 425.3 million cedis.

The court's ruling followed a "Nolle Prosequi" application forwarded to the court from the Attorney-General's (A-G) Department and signed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mr Osafo Sampong, indicating the prosecution's desire or intention to discontinue the case.

In legal parlance, if the prosecution decides not to pursue a matter any further in court, it draws the court's attention to it by filing a "Nolle Prosequi" to withdraw the case.

When the former MP for 1992 and 1996 election years, was first put before the court on Tuesday, February 4, this year, for the alleged non-payment of taxes on his personal income, he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

When Mr. George Nana Donkor, the trial magistrate, granted him bail in the sum of 425.3 million cedis, the former MP could not execute the bail bond on that day, and so he was remanded until the following day.

In March this year, the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Mrs Janet Opoku-Akyeampong, wrote to the Attorney-General's Department asking for a stay of proceedings in the matter.

The Service consequently, appointed an investigative team to look into the matter, and based on a report and findings, the IRS could not get enough evidence to secure the conviction of the former MP.

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